Lakers at Spurs Live Blog powered by nomuskles

nomuskles —  March 13, 2009

Can the Lakers sustain the momentum they built yesterday against the Rockets or was that an outlier against a downward trend? The Lakers will attempt to answer this question in the positive tonight against the former inhabitants of the cavernous Alamo Dome.

A peek behind the curtains: I’m actually doing this live blog after it has finished. I’m a little nervous as to whether the recording actually recorded the whole game. Ah, the wonders of technology! Speaking of which, here are some clips from a series of commercials running in 1993. A friend of mine remarked on the fairly prescient nature of the predictions. See it here.

The score listed after the time marker is the score before the result of the play. Lakers score is listed first and Spurs score second.

1st Quarter

12:00 – LAL 0, SAS 0 – We start with a bad tip and a re-tip controlled by the forum blue and gold. Gasol shorts his first open 15 footer.

11:36 – 0, 0 – Finley strokes a nice jumper and Ariza drains a jumper of his own on the other end.

10:54 – 2, 2 – Doug Collins mentions that the Lakers miss The Space Cadet’s shooting and size. I start flinching involuntarily at the mention of Vladi’s name.

10:00 – 4, 4 – Bonner is tasked with guarding Lamar by himself and Odom overpowers/outlengths him and draws a foul on a made bucket. It’s very difficult to take a red-headed, pasty man seriously out there. He and Scalabrine probably have a support group for maligned red-headed NBA players. They’re the only members with Bill Walton acting as Chairman Emeritus.

9:43 – 7, 4 – Awkward possession for Wide Eyed Duncan as he drives across the lane. Pau hit the ball and Duncan left his feet but came down with it. Refs call a jump. I’m happy to relay the shock that was on Pop’s face.

8:34 – 9, 4 – Lakers are off to a great start. Kobe hits a step back jumper over the outstretched hands of the ginger. The Spurs turned the ball over out of bounds. And then Pau gets a tip-in off a wide open Kobe miss from the elbow to put the Lakers up 7. Spurs go with the tried and true early time out. TNT doesn’t go to commercial. That’s gotta be the first time a television broadcast has done that in a non-fourth quarter situation in forever. The announcers recap the past week or so for the Lakers (the ups and downs).

8:37 – 11, 4 – Parker collapses the Lakers defense and Finley finds himself wide open for three and he drills it. Great use of the timeout.

7:55 – 13, 7 – Great move by Finley to take his man off the dribble and drop in a left-handed floater over the secondary defender, Lamar. I’m not sure if Odom expected the shot to go up so quickly.

7:12 – 15, 9 – Lakers again force a turnover and in semi-transition Fisher smashes a three pointer home. Next time down, Ariza tries his luck and finds himself a winner. As drastic as the 11 point lead looks, it could very easily be a much closer game if these last two shots had missed, as they eventually will. It’s not time for the Spurs to panic and if you’re the Lakers, you plan for the maturity of the Los Spurs to set in and their defense to make adjustments.

5:45 – 23, 9 – Ariza picks Finley’s pocket and the Lakers come back the other way but don’t convert it into points. Coming back the other way, Kobe leaves Bowen all alone to provide support inside and stuffs Finley’s layup out of bounds. Spurs get a Kurt Thomas long two to fall. Lakers will live with that.

4:23 – 25, 11 – Lakers play some tough defense on the Spurs and Lamar stays with Tony Longoria enough to alter his shot at the end of the buzzer. Kobe misses a gimme (for him) and Ariza gets a steal again. Kobe gets another shot to fall. He’s playing in rhythm and smooth. Fears of a letdown are laid to rest. The Lakers are ready and willing for this one.

3:10 – 27, 11 – Odom does his patented throw the ball of the defender while falling out of bounds and we get an automatic timeout. I am astonished at how effective the Lakers have been against the Manu-less Spurs.  There is a Pau Gasol look-alike behind the Spurs bench except he’s wearing glasses. I feel you should know this. Is Popovich so maniacal that he’s going to send out a Gasol doppelganger in order to confuse the Lakers?

2:23 – 31, 15 – Lakers force Duncan into a difficult shot over Odom. Odom then gathers up a loose offensive rebound on the other end and deposits it through.

1:19 – 33, 17 – Ime Udoka is aghast at the foul that was just called on him. He planted an elbow into Luke’s jaw while holding the ball and he can’t figure out how he got caught. Umm, Ime, the refs are mainly watching the person with the ball and the person guarding the person with the ball. I think I’ve solved the case.

0:12 – 33, 17 – Kobe’s just going one on one on against his defender. Farmar is going to have an interesting time guarding Mason and being guarded by him. I’m not sure if Farmar can take advantage of his quickness advantage when Mason will have a significant height advantage. All that is going through my head while Kobe saunters around the perimeter for about 10 seconds before settling for a pull-up J in front of Bowen that draws water. Mason misses the last-second shot at the other end.

This is the point in the movie where the annoying buddy says, “this is going good. Tooooo good.”

2nd Quarter

11:30 – 35, 20 – Spurs aren’t taking care of their defensive glass as Luke corrals an offensive rebound. And then the Lakers cough it up.

10: 35 – 35, 20 – Finley is reaching into the way-back machine. He hits a pull-up jumper on the right baseline over Vujacic. Nicely done sir.

9:42 – 37, 22 – I’m okay with helping off Kurt Thomas when he’s standing 20 feet from the bucket but perhaps you don’t just watch him from 10 feet away  while he shoots a flat-footed set shot. He’s old, not dead.

8:51 – 37, 24 – The Spurs look disjointed on offense. They’re getting some penetration but not really doing much with it. Without players looking to slash and score, the Lakers aren’t being put in scramble mode.

8:20 – 37, 24 – Kurt Thomas tries to send Farmar to the hospital with a torn ACL in a loose ball situation and after the refs reward the Spurs with the ball out of bounds, the Spurs get a corner three. Lakers miss at the other end and Josh Powell and Kurt Thomas get tangled up for the second time in a row. Something to keep an eye on.

7:30 – 37, 26 – Pau hits a nice free throw jumper. Finley hits a corner three. Powell and Thomas are tangled again. Lakers don’t get back on defense but Thomas catches his own airball and gets called for traveling.  Spurs are making a push.

5:58 – 41, 31 – Farmar gets a nice block from behind on Finley showing he’s not going to quit. Kobe tightropes the baseline and finds Powell in the lane after Powell built a house and filled out a change of address form. Powell notices the Spaniard open and hits him for an easy jumper from 8 feet. Pop wants another timeout. The Lakers are playing superb. Can they sustain this level of play?

5:36 – 43, 31 – Mbenga gets called for a foul bodying up Duncan. Lamar shows a great bit of veteran leadership and encourages him. Fisher believes that he’s some sort of extraordinary shot blocker as he goes for Parker’s fake. Not much contact but the refs are fooled into giving Parker two free throws. 

4:40 – 45, 31 – After an Mbenga bucket, the Lakers starting five (except Mbenga for Pau) play stifling defense forcing a turnover from the Spurs.

3:45 – 45, 31 – Great hustle by the Lakers to pick up a rebound. Lamar really ran after the deflected ball and found himself one on one with Duncan. Lamar will not be denied! Two points in Duncan’s grill. Despite conventional wisdom, that does not make Duncan soft. Drew Gooden makes an unscheduled appearance. We’ll see how he does with his new mates.

2:08 – 49, 32 – Ariza hasn’t quite mastered the turnaround jumper off the dribble. Either that or a huge gust of wind blew through the arena because his shot came up about 14.2 inches short.

1:28 – 49, 34 – There’s a couple things that the cautious me is thinking. First of all, it’s easy to think this game is over but we haven’t yet played an entire half. The Spurs will have just as much time in the second half to erase the lead that the Lakers built in the same amount of time. Secondly, even if the Lakers win going away, the Spurs have been playing too good to dismiss them as non-competition. Especially with Manu not suiting up.

0:03 – 51, 38 – Not the prettiest last second play ever but Pau makes a strong move inside to get a jump hook to fall over Duncan. Odom was the initiator on that one, which is unusual but Mason did a good job battling Kobe and denying him the ball. Lakers can’t let that happen very often if they want to keep the game out of reach.

Halftime

Halftime takes forever! Yammer yammer about nothing. “But nomuskles, aren’t you watching on DVR?” Hmm… yeah. I don’t know why I was watching the halftime show or the commercials. It’s been a long day. Finally Doug Collins has some actual analysis highlighting Michael Finley’s success and the collapsing Lakers defense that gave up some good looks from outside.

3rd Quarter

11:34 – LAL 53, SAS 38 – Lakers play pretty good defense but Finley is having a rejuvenated effort. He sinks a tough jumper over Pau and then Bonner comes and gets the luckiest shot ever to fall in from three. It bounced off the back iron about 8 feet in the air and dropped in. If he was playing pool, it would’ve been ball in hand.

10:11 – 55, 45 – Popovich blamed the first half on a timid first quarter by Duncan and Parker.

9:36 – 57, 45 – Lakers foul Duncan in the post. Kobe left Mason to double Duncan when Pau had good position. To my eye, that’s a little bit of a breakdown. Cheating off Mason isn’t really a winning strategy based on how well he’s shot this year.

9:04 – 57, 46 – Spurs fans are upset when the refs call Thomas for pushing Pau in the back off a Duncan miss. I don’t blame them. Looked like Pau just mistimed his jump.

8:46 – 57, 46 – NO FEAR! Ariza takes it strong to the hole and despite Finley raking his arms Ariza manages to finish off the glass. He also gets the free throw. Coming back the other way, Duncan draws a foul on Fisher and hits 1 of 2. Oh no. Duncan follows his own miss and gets an easy layup.

8:16 – 60, 49 – Kobe baits the ref into calling a foul on a jumper from 18 feet. Mason is fingered the culprit for tagging Kobe oh so gently.

7:45 – 62, 49 – Interesting sequence. Ariza makes a great steal on a bad pass. Fisher misses the layup on the break. Pau misses the putback dunk (contested). Spurs run the other way with an advantage and Finley misses a three from the right wing. Lakers hustle back down and early in the shot clock Kobe draws a foul against Duncan. [post-game note: this turned out to be a rare sloppy sequence in this otherwise highly skilled game]

7:25 – 64, 49 – Mason drills a three from the left side. Too open. Spurs trying to get the deficit under 10.

6:39 – 64, 52 – And they do it with a Tony Parker three wide open. TNT shows us the corner view. Kobe found Fisher for a three of his own to answer back! Spurs seem to have gotten some handle on the Lakers’ defense.

5:37 – 67, 56 – Tony Parker weaves his way around some screens and hits a nice looking jumper. The Lakers answer is a Derek Fisher contested three from 26 feet. Clang. Ugh. Spurs are making a push against the starters. It’ll be time for the bench to start coming in soon. How will they fair?

4:25 – Wow. Tony Parker just slices the Lakers interior defense into little tiny pieces. Just call him Sushi Chef Longoria-Parker

3:36 – Kobe gets a good seal against Bowen and Lamar gives him a great entry pass from the top of the circle. Spurs collapse and Kobe finds a diving Pau who is fouled in the act.

2:38 – 71, 60 – Kobe makes a great defensive play. He turned it over but hustled back into the play to make Finley alter the point blank layup. He missed.

2:15 – 71, 60 – ::throws shoe at TV:: tony parker is hitting his stride. He ties the lakers hands on defense and drops it off for Tim Duncan for the lay-in and the foul on Kobe. I guess it was too much to ask for the Lakers to keep a quick guard like Parker contained for an entire game. Duncan’s free throw is no good after the timeout and Spurs only trail by 9.

1:58 – 71, 62 – Luke!!!! Offensive rebound and putback in Duncan’s face. 

1:20 – 75, 62 – Ime uses the aerodynamic advantage of the shaved head to drop in a three point jumper.

1:07 – 75, 65 – Kevin Harlan says that Mason fouled “the angular Odom.” That made me chuckle. What does that mean? Is Odom sporting a protractor in his knee brace tonight?? He does the make one, miss one thing at the charity stripe.

0:48 – 76, 65 – Odom is enjoying his night tonight. He swats away George Hill’s timid layup. Unfortunately Tony Parker uses the out of bounds play to get himself a nice looking jumper.

0:08 – 78, 67 – Spurs turn it over on the bad Tony Parker pass. Farmar is forced out of bounds and the refs give the ball back to the Spurs. Parker takes advantage of the extra possession to hit a nice runner while drawing the foul. He hits the free throw. Lakers finish the quarter only up 8. They need to be more disciplined against Tony Parker, that’s for sure.

4th Quarter

11:30 – 78, 70 – Lakers give up back to back threes and a fast break dunk. Three point game. 8 points in practically zero time.

10:49 – 78, 75 – Needing a bucket the Lakers turn to the always reliable….Walton? Walton drives into the paint from the corner and dumps it off for Pau who gets the bucket and the foul. Pau makes the free throw. Finley drains a three. Their defense is much more intense and the Lakers are forced into a frustration foul/turnover.

9:59 – 81, 78 – With the crowd shouting for DE-FENSE! Powell makes a nice face-up shot in the post to quiet the crowd a little. Spurs turn it over. Lakers repay the favor. Finley can’t make the Lakers pay.

8:51 – 83, 78 – with Powell being guarded by the much smaller and more perimeter oriented Udoka, he goes into the post and uses a nice spin move to get a layup that he misses but follows for a tip in. Great show of confidence by Powell in hostile territory these two latest trips down. Spurs get a point taken away after the refs determine Mason was stepping on the line on one of his shots.

8:13 –85, 77 – Vujacic has hit his second basket of the night. That’s got to feel good for him.

7:30 – 87, 77 – altogether now, LUUUUUKKKEEE. Nice back door cut and a quick jump layup away from the defender. Lakers on an 8-0 run the past 3 minutes.

7:18 – 89, 77 – Tim Duncan is shooting free throws. It occurs to me that it still seems silly that the refs have numbers on their jerseys. And Kobe checks back in to the game having not taken a shot since the 2nd quarter.

6:25 – 89, 91 – Lakers are running with their starting lineup except Powell instead of Odom. Kobe gets a tough jumper to fall and then Parker waltzes into the paint before the Lakers get setup for an easy layup. Walton then dishes out some punishment to the rookie, George Hill and gets a layup of his own. Lakers up by 10.

5:25 – 93, 83 – Duncan isn’t going away quietly. Odom beats Thomas off the dribble and looks to have a good angle to the bucket but Duncan pins the layup against the glass.

4:18 – 93, 83 – Michael FINLEY!!!! Drills a three from the right side. Ridiculous how well he’s playing.

3:10 – 93, 88 – Lakers get a much-needed bucket. Kobe is doubled on the wing and with an unconventional pass he finds Pau with a water-polo pass on the opposite block against the smaller Parker. Pau goes dunkalicious.

2:55 – 95, 88 – Thomas then gets his own jumper to fall. Lakers collapsed again onto Duncan.

2:28 – 95, 90 – Kobe’s gone cold. He misses another shot. Parker hits a three and sets the crowd into a frenzy! Spurs pull within two and wield the momentum like a sledgehammer of doom.

1:47 – 95, 93 – Sideline pick and roll, Kobe and Pau. Shut down. Kobe iso. for three. over Hill. GOOD! Holy crap I just tinkled on myself. That shot was a huge dagger in the Spurs’ armor. They played disciplined to 2 seconds on the shot clock and Kobe hits it anyway. What else could they have done? At the other end, we witness a Timmy D jump hook for two. Lakers up 3.

1:22 – 98, 95 – ball in Kobe’s hand. Pressure release is Odom at the circle and he finds Gasol in the low post for a tough finish. Lakers reach 100 first. Will Lawler’s law hold?

1:10 – 100, 95 – ODOM! Forces the jump ball against Timmy and the Lakers control the tip.

0:30 – 100, 95 – Intense bit of defense by the Lakers. Finley ends up with a fairly reasonable look but it was contested and it comes up short after he was forced to create off the dribble. The Spurs want that one back.  Vujacic is fouled and gets two freebies. Lakers should win this one now.

Can the rest of you breathe? What a terrific battle for the Lakers and Spurs tonight. It’s a great feeling, I’m sure, to come out on top against the second place team in the West. Sometimes these live blogs turn out to be one-line zingers but tonight there was no place for that. The Spurs came roaring back in the 2nd half and the Lakers needed all their weapons to fend them off. Can’t say enough about the will to win tonight. Not to mention the contributions by the bench. Powell, Ariza, Luke and Vujacic had some timely buckets. Hats off the Spurs for their effort as they refused to fold in the face of a huge Lakers avalanche in the first quarter.

nomuskles

Posts

61 responses to Lakers at Spurs Live Blog powered by nomuskles

  1. Sorry but just read the first and fourth quarters to be the first to reply ;)

    Great writeup, as always.

  2. the other Stephen March 13, 2009 at 1:24 am

    ah, the odom-gasol hookups. kind of reminds me of the all the other reputable odom-gasol hookups. oh, and it also makes me think of jay cutler and brandon marshall.

  3. PeanutButterSpread March 13, 2009 at 2:04 am

    I want to see more Odom-Gasol plays. Or the Kobe-Odom-Gasol or the Kobe-Gasol plays we ran so much last year. I guess the only reason why we don’t run them as much this year is because teams are expecting them, but still, they are so dang effective and are a thing of beauty to watch.

  4. That syracuse game was one of the best games I have ever seen!

  5. I think Robert Swift is a pasty redhead also. He just plays so little, you may have forgotten about him.

  6. I’ve attempted to block Swift and his tattoos (maybe it’s all just one big tattoo?) from my memory.

    By the way, how clutch was Lamar’s tie-up and jump-ball win on Duncan? People mention his scoring, passing, and rebounding, but to me his ability to scrap for and get loose balls is also something not many other lakers can do.

  7. The Apocalypse is coming – Henry said something positive about the Lakers…

    http://myespn.go.com/blogs/truehoop/0-38-313/Fear-the-Lakeshow.html

  8. Remember that fairly recent discussion about ‘clutchness’ and how Kobe’s numbers don’t necessarily stack up?

    I don’t think stats cover a clutch three like Kobe’s. Shot clock running down, strongly contested, against a good team making a desperate rally….

    I think there are some things where stats tell the real truth, but there are others where your eyes don’t lie. And last night’s shot is why most people would want Kobe taking the last shot.

    It wasn’t a game winner by the common definition, but I do believe that was a game winning shot.

  9. wiseolgoat,

    Swift was playing against Birdman in the Denver game. Kind of funny seeing two ultra tatted white boys on the floor at the same time. There has to a support group for them and Cherokee Parks as well.

  10. That Bonner three reminds me of the Byron Scott shot that bounced to the rafters and fell in.

  11. Charley Rosen has a good take on last night’s game between the Lakers and Spurs, and he discusses Ariza’s flagrant foul, too.

    http://msn.foxsports.com/nba/story/9323774/Minus-Manu,-Spurs-can%27t-match-up-with-Lakers

  12. Great writeup, nomuskles!

    On a completely different note, why does Jon Barry have a job?

    I just read his daily dime on espn and I’m fairly convinced that I watch and read more about the nba in a month than he does in a season.

    Is that the point though? Is he an NBA ignorance vaccination? Whenever he writes or says something stupid and 6 months out-dated I find myself thinking of all the reasons he’s wrong. Thus, he kind of tricks me into composing a relevant article in response to his vapid article. So maybe it kind of is like using ineffective flu viruses to trick the body into creating effective flu defenses.

    So should I thank ABC/ESPN for tricking me into using my brain? Or still be upset that they threaten to bring down Wilbon’s intelligence by pairing him with Barry?

  13. JD-I think ESPN’s “studio” show for the NBA is the worst studio show…of any sport…ever. Barry just comes off as bitter, Wilbon is there as a “journalist” but brings nothing in the form of analysis and Magic is being improperly deployed as an “interviewer”. Stu Scott really ties the awfulness together.

    As for the Spurs-I think the one thing they are missing more than anything (outside of a healthy Manu) is a legit Center. The teams that won titles had Robinson, Mohammed (and even Oberto) to help ease the rebounding burden on TD. This team is running 6’8 Kurt Thomas and 3pt bomber Matt Bonner as TD’s wingmen. Gooden really could make a difference for them, simply because he is a big guy who can rebound. They may be a much better team if we see them in the playoffs.

  14. here’s a clip of the James block on J rich
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zwRX22jCdDo

    what an idiot

  15. 16-Still, it was foul. Clearly a foul. I don’t think J-Rich’s stupidity or LBJ’s perceived hustle should mitigate that.

  16. truehoop article = henry’s version of a make up call

  17. “I feel you should know this. Is Popovich so maniacal that he’s going to send out a Gasol doppelganger in order to confuse the Lakers?”

    Obviously he has been studying film of the Lakers this season. Lamar might pass it to him.

  18. J.D. Hastings,

    I agree with Kwame, Wilbon sucks too. He has no clue, but yet, we’re forced to suffer through him because of his PTI popularity. I don’t bother to watch the ABC Pre-Game Show, because Not only do Jon Barry and Wilbon suck, but Stuart Scott makes it that much worse.

    Barry,

    It’s what they do. Laker fans are too many and active. They have to give a little, take a little. The people keep reading because of it.

  19. Given the previous rips into ESPN’s studio crew — all of which I wholly support — I want to see if anyone else feels the way I do about last night’s TNT pairing.

    I’ve never liked Kevin Harlan much simply because he yelling gets on my nerves. Simply screaming “TIM DUNCAN!” or “KOBE BRYANT!!!” after a big play is not good announcing, at least not in my view.

    But my real gripe is with the much-loved Doug Collins. Am I an on island here, or do others get aggravated by his incessant blathering? He seriously never shuts up. If he could tone his word count down by half he’d be great, but watching him call a game with Harlan makes me want to swallow a shotgun.

    One guy screams, and the second he shuts up the next guy starts to yammer on for 23 seconds until someone scores and the first guy screams again. I had the whole second half on mute.

    Best crew working today is Breen, Jackson and Van Gundy.

  20. 22. Jackson and Van Gundy? Are you kidding me. Van Gundy maybe because he tends to say funny things and he is brutally honest at times. But Jackson has no insight at all. He is a reactive commentator not a proactive one. He never seems to call a play as it develops or seem to fully understand what a team is doing. However he is good at commentating over a replay. His one liners are even more annoying “good defense just better offense.”

    At least Doug Collins calls the game in an educative proactive manner. He sees plays before they develop fully, maybe its the coach in him. Anyway i will take Hubie Brown any day over Breen, Jackson and Van Gundy.

  21. Chris J – I liked Harlan, if no other reason than for his occasional “with no regard for human life!” calls. He kept on mixing up the names of players last night though.

    I agree with you about Doug. Does anyone else here miss the glory days of the NBA on NBC? Bob Costas, Bill Walton, and Steve “The Snapper” Jones? ahhh the good old days…

  22. My pipe dream is Jon Stewart deciding that the ABC NBA studio crew is his next target: “John Barry, please list your credentials as an expert to dictate what it takes to win a championship. Can anybody on this set explain to me what offensive or defensive efficiency is? Did any of you do any form of research to back up any position you are espousing today or did you roll out of bed and just wing it?”

    On a similar theme, during one of the games last night somebody, possibly Doug Collins, asked Reggie Miller how hard it was to be signed to a new team in mid-season, learn a new system, get into shape, etc. How the hell is Reggie MIller the right guy to ask about this?? He played for one team his entire career straight through. Just because a guy got his paycheck from the league for any number of years doesn’t make him an expert in everything going on in that league. Just like the people in the DMV don’t know the finer points of running NASA.

  23. Chris,

    I like Collins. He gives good analysis. My favorite is Hubie Brown, though. I agree with anonymous.

    Breen is good, but JVG and Jackson suck. They were good when they 1st started. they actually gave some insight into the game. Now, they just play up their schtick of fake disagreements about their over statements throughout the game. They’re going the entertaining rout catering to the dumb casual fan, rather than what made them good in the first place, thoughtful analysis and honesty, along with a bit of laughs.

    I know some people don’t like him, but I don’t mind Reggie Miller either.

  24. Any of the above beat Bill Walton and Steven (sp?) A Smith. Separate they are annoying, but together they are torturous.

  25. 25. I have yet to watch the Cramer vs. Stewart showdown, but I think it’s telling that it took a comedian to start asking the hard questions of the financial media. Now the Sunday morning talk shows will follow his lead.

  26. hey Kurt, I agree that Stewart is a comedian.
    but I think he takes exception to that.
    I think he feels the Daily show is a news show.
    I amy be wrong, but I think I read that somewhere.
    if you want to see the exchanges, it’s on the Daily show we site.

  27. Sometimes a comedian is the only person who can properly frame the absurdity of a situation…

  28. I like Hubie Brown, Doug Collins, JVG and Mark Jackson along with Breen. Walt Frazier is another favorite of mine. Hubie Brown and Doug Collins are the best because of their detail analysis of the game. They even break the game down in the simplest of terms so a casual viewer can understand.

  29. 21- Kurt-

    The viewer-left portion of Kobe’s face loses some of the likeness in the haircut. In particular, the curious decision to over-accentuate the iris on that side makes him look diseased, insane, or both. As a viewer I am forced to wonder whether the ultimate intent is flattery, slander, or a broader statement regarding the duality of man. I will withhold judgement until I read the artist’s statement.

    You know what’s weird? My horoscope this morning read, “You will offer an art critique on the image of Pau Gasol shaved into the back of a man’s head.” They were SO close!

  30. I never said Collins doesn’t know the game. His insight can be great, but it’s the fact that he buries it amid the constant yammering about when he coached the Bulls, what his son Chris thinks, when he was a player, yada yada yada. He’s got the resume; he knows basketball. He just needs to shut his pie hole for more than the 45 seconds per hour he now thinks it’s OK to be quiet.

    Hubie Brown is good. I think Breen carries the ABC trio, but I guess the back and forth between Van Gundy and Jackson is what makes me enjoy their games more so than many.

    Steven A. Sucks.

    Someone mentioned the old school NBC teams, which were OK. I also like the old CBS war horse, Dick Stockton. But games like last nights make me wish we could have been blessed with Chick Hearn forever. The simulcast days were the best, and no one’s as fun as Chick was.

  31. I wasn’t a fan of Bob Costas. Similar to Al Michaels, he barely conceals the fact that he just doesn’t like Basketball.

  32. I remember staying up to watch the Finals at 11:30 and listening to Chris Schenkel.

  33. the other Stephen March 13, 2009 at 5:01 pm

    i don’t know why they featured jim cramer at all. he’s nothing but a hack with tenuous credentials. he’s the equivalent of stephen a. smith, who tries to make up for his lack of meaningful dialogue with even louder ranting and ill humor. the only person whom i respect on cnbc is rick santelli. if you want to *learn* something, go watch bloomberg, and not cnbc, fox, and certainly not cnn.

  34. Other stephen, you just gave me a horrific image of Stephen A Smith alone on a sound stage with a sound board filled with obnoxious sound effects… *shudder*

  35. the other Stephen March 13, 2009 at 5:11 pm

    hey j.d., i shudder with you. i meant to ask you before, but is that your name, or are you getting a degree from u.c. hastings?

  36. It’s my name, though I do come from a legal family. They deny any correlation.

  37. The Dude Abides March 13, 2009 at 5:42 pm

    OT-36. Santelli is pretty smart, but the reason the whole Daily Show-CNBC smackdown happened was because when he got invited to appear on the Daily Show after his famous rant, Santelli agreed but then weaseled out at the last minute, so Stewart ripped him. Cramer then made the big mistake of sticking up for Santelli even though he didn’t really believe that what Santelli had said was true. Big mistake, but great TV for days.

    And yes, Kurt, it’s sad that it takes a comic to do what real journalists should have done.

  38. JVG was OK to start with, but someone needs to remind him that he’s a colour commentator and not a comedian.

    Mark Jackson gets on my nerves with his after the fact ‘insight’ and repetitive catchphrases.

    Chris J, I completely agree with you on Collins being overly verbose. He also tends to repeat a lot of his thoughts throughout the broadcast. I still think he’s a good analyst though.

    Hubie is a bit dry but in terms of analysis and knowledge he’s hard to beat.

    Jon Barry is terrible as a colour commentator. I don’t watch halftime shows in general but the thought of him and Mike Wilbon ‘analysing’ the NBA with Stuart Scott going ‘BOOYAH!’ in the background is just frightening.

    Screamin’ A Smith still has a job?

  39. I detest Jackson and Van Gundy. Their ridiculous disagreements are like nails on chalkboard. That and they spend most of the game not even paying attention to what is going on and harp at each other instead. And when they actually do decide to concentrate on the game, it’s purely reactive. Jackson’s “that’s good defense, just better offense” line makes me cringe also.

    I actually like Collins. Although he tends to talk a bit too much for my tastes, a good chunk of his commentary tends to be fairly insightful and it’s hard for someone with a quiet voice to grate on you. All this said, I agree with the above that Hubie Brown is by far the best.

  40. Drew Andrekopoulos March 13, 2009 at 8:28 pm

    Great game.. Too close for me (or then it needed to be) but good game. I am glad to see the second unit playing a little better when it was close.. Good call for Phil to leave them in as late in the fourth as he did. I also like Ariza moving to a starter and having Luke with the second unit.. Let just get Andrew back and win us a ring!!

  41. hehey sacto may score one over the cavs. wouldn’t mind that happening as they did a number on us too.

  42. j. d. hastings March 13, 2009 at 9:32 pm

    Kings have the ball tied against the Cavs with 5 seconds left. Come on K-Mart!

  43. WOW nba refs are very very bad

  44. About the broadcasting crews, I kinda miss Bill Walton and his hilarious penchant for hyperbole. He just had fun out there.

    I used to love it when Shaq would just destroy the rim and Walton would intone “Throw it dowwwnnnnnn Big Man. Throw it down!”

    And, of course, he wasn’t afraid to call out the refs either. “That was a horrrrrrrrrrrriiiiiiiiiiiibbbbbbbbbbbbbblllllllllllllle call!”

    Hope the back’s feeling okay Bill!

  45. the other Stephen March 13, 2009 at 11:03 pm

    i miss bill walton.

  46. nomuskles, Another great job on this live blog. There certainly were no one-line zingers in it, it was full of exciting/edge-of -your- seat/entertaining commentary.

  47. I liked how awkward it was when Bill would have to comment about Luke. He normally wouldn’t say anything- except once in Luke’s first or second season Luke was called for a flagrant foul. Nothing thuggish, but a flagrant nonetheless. Bill wouldn’t shut up about how shameful and un-called for that foul was against “Luke Walton.” Simultaneously not acknowledging the connection and just killing him 3 times more than was warranted for the play.

  48. happy for powe as a cal alumni, but not so happy since he’s a celtic.

    henry’s post is so… shallow, i think is the right word, perhaps. you can see through it.

    also, do we not have any more games left that are meaningful? kinda surprised to see that none made it to BS’s 30 list.

  49. well, one against portland, but somehow i failed to remember that thanks to some association with henry abbot (don’t ask how i lumped the two together)

  50. Late to the announcer dance, but just wanted to say that my favorite team was the O.G. NBC team, Fratello and pre-arrest Marv. Besides the man-crush for MJ, these two just called the basketball game and that’s the problem with all other play-by-play guys now except Breen. Tirico (who is my least favorite), Harlan, even Joel Myers dabble in college and pro football, and anything else they can announce. It makes them give a real basic play-by-play call, and rely on simple comments to bridge to the color commentator. I hate for instance when Tirico says something like, “and here’s Shaq, 14 time all-star, 4 time champion,” or “and we all know about what happened this week with the firing of Avery Johnson”. These type of dudes never acutally call the game.

  51. The Dude Abides March 14, 2009 at 11:29 am

    53. That was a great announcing duo. Poor Marv. One thing I learned from his assault case was never have any type of relations if I’m in the state of Virginia at the time. He got railroaded worse than Kobe and the Duke LAX team combined.

  52. In the early days, JVG would actually talk about why something was bad defense. They occasionally still do (I remember one nice little breakdown of a play in the Celtics game where it looked like Garnett just screwed up, but it was actually Rondo who failed to rotate), but too often fall back on “That was just horrible D” and talking about what a square JVG is.

    I’ve come to appreciate Hubie Brown over the years… he gives mostly solid comments with some good insights and doesn’t try to get off zingers or catchphrases. I think it was him who was announcing some game (perhaps the Jazz game in the 08 playoffs where Kobe came back from an knee injury?) where Kobe had been taking it easy most of the game but them elevated for a huge dunk. I remember the announcers just cracking up, taking a pause and then Hubie saying “I think the knee is better now… it looked like he took off from a trampoline!” Perfect.

  53. i’m just glad that celtic homer, Tommy Heinsohn, doesn’t do network coverage anymore. Do you remember the Stockton and Heinsohn duo in the 80’s? I remember muting the TV and listen to Chick Hearn on radio because I got so annoyed by the biased commentating.

    It went something like this…when McHale clotheslined Rambis in the ’84 Finals.

    Stockton: Magic passes to Rambis. He goes for a layup. McHale with a hard foul takes down Rambis.

    Heinsohn: A great foul. In playoffs, you can’t give up easy layups.

    Stockton: Rambis gets up and charges toward McHale.

    Heinsohn: He’s overreacting. McHale was only trying to keep him from scoring.

    Me: What the #%$@! Is he watching the same game I’m watching?!

    Compared to Heinsohn, Jackson, JVG, and Collins are all upgrades…at least to me.

    Am I the only one who remembers this? I feel old…

  54. It looks like our first round opponent will likely be the Mavs. That’s too bad, I was hoping the Suns could sneak in. It would bring more intrigue and some closure to the battles these two teams have had over the years, if finally we met them in the playoffs and enacted some direct revenge for the 2 first round losses.

    Does anyone know offhand how the Cavs strength of schedule down the stretch compares to ours?

  55. im really liking how we are not attempting as many 3pointers in the past 2 games

  56. 57,

    I commented about this in the San Antonio preview post, but might as well rehash it:

    Anyhow, with this out of the way, the hardest two-game stretch for us for the rest of the season is out of the way. For the rest of the season, our remaining (possibly) difficult games are Dallas, @Detroit, @Atlanta, Houston, Denver, @Portland, and Utah. Of those, the only ones that really show a decent amount of difficulty are Detroit, who seems to have their mojo back with Iverson going back to the bench, Atlanta, who is a tough team to play in their house, Houston, although I doubt their chances of beating us at home, and Portland, possibly the hardest game left in the regular season. Now, let’s see we lose four of the tough games and win the rest. That leaves us at 65-17, which is a pretty damn good record.

    Cleveland, which at this point is our only real threat for HCA seeing as Boston is slipping with no Rondo and no Garnett, has Orlando, Portland, Atlanta, Dallas, Detroit, @Orlando, San Antonio, and Boston as its remaining fairly tough games. The key point is that with the exception of Orlando, all of these games are at home, where only we have been able to beat them. That said, they have to finish with a record of 66-16 or better — as we have the tiebreaker — to get HCA. That gives them three or fewer losses, meaning that they’re going to have to lose some home games or get upset on the road outside of Orlando (go Washington!) for us to claim HCA. Now, we certainly could finish with a record better than 65-17, but it’s going to be a remarkably close race between Cleveland and us. We don’t have a whole lot of margin for error, and we might end up banking on the Cavs losing a few down the stretch.

    All this said though, I think Phil and Kobe will keep the team pretty motivated for the prospect of HCA for the remainder of the season, so it should be a fun finish.

  57. pb,

    No. You are 100% about Heinsohn. I live in New England, so I listen to him on Celtics broadcasts. I am shocked he was able to be the #1 color guy for NBA broadcasts at one point. His homerism is legendary, and he’s turned most Celtics fans into whiners about officiating. Any time they lose. “It’s a fixed league”, “the NBA doesn’t want the C’s to win”, or my fave, “the refs have a Lakers bias.” Which is funny, because we sure didn’t get to cash that check last June.